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Janet B. James, 77, of Rockford, passed away Saturday, May 12, 2018 peacefully at her home with her loving family by her side. She was born on October 21, 1940, in Sheffield, England, the daughter of William and Elizabeth (Cain) Bligh. Janet graduated from Ripon Teacher College (UK) and began a career as a teacher in England. In 1963, she married the love of her life, Philip James, and immigrated with him to Rockford. She taught for 5 years in Rockford until the birth of her son Andrew and then devoted her life to be the best homemaker. She was the rock of the family. The family made 7 interstate moves during Phil's career, with Janet handling the sale of home, purchase of home and most interesting to her, remodeling. She rarely paid attention to a budget. At her insistence the last move was back to Rockford. Wherever she lived Janet was active in the Episcopal Church because "You don't leave your brains at the door". Janet was an avid reader of history and mysteries, frequently reading 4 or 5 books a week. She loved to talk about books. Janet loved her dogs, raising 5 standard poodles from puppy stage. She enjoyed traveling with Phil and visited many countries in Europe, South America and Asia. Janet immersed herself in different cultures and was adventurous in trying local cuisine. She was an excellent cook. She had definite opinions and was not afraid to voice them. Typical Janet was her license plate, JJSWMBO: Janet James She Who Must Be Obeyed. Her family and many friends will sorely miss her.
Survived by her husband, Philip; and son, Andrew. Predeceased by her parents. Her family wishes to thank Dr. Altayeh, Dr. Glovsky, Dr. Runo, MercyHealth Hospice and their staff for their compassionate care. They also thank their many friends for their support.
Memorial Visitation will be held from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Friday, May 18, 2018 at Fred C. Olson Chapel, 1001 Second Ave., Rockford. A Celebration and Thanksgiving for Janet's Life will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 19, 2018 at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 412 N. Church St., Rockford with Reverend Andria Skornik officiating. Memorials may be made to Emmanuel Episcopal Church.

Condolences & Shared Memories (12)

  1. Nigel, Angel and Isabella

    Dear Uncle Phil and Andrew, We are very sorry to hear about the loss of Auntie Janet. You speak about homemaker and I have to say this is a lasting memory for sure of a perfectly kept home, such wonderful food and probably the best lasagna ever. You are in our thoughts at this sad time.

  2. Piers and Barbara Curry

    We are so sad to hear of Janet's passing. We have missed all of you since your move back to Rockford, always enjoying our visits to your home and one of Janet's delicious meals and her wonderful sense of humor! Sending our prayers and love ......

  3. Jacqueline Thompson (Cain)

    My dearest Cousin Janet have so many beautiful memories of you Phil and Andrew whilst growing up in Darnell England God bless Janet love to Phil and Andrew🙏🏻🙏🏻❤️😘

  4. Jeff Negri

    Phil and Andrew , I am so sorry for your loss . Although I didn't know Janet well her character commanded respect ! I thought of her as very classy and very intelligent ! I'm sure she is greatly missed . Sincerely, Jeff Negri

  5. Eileen Straw

    So many happy memories of my sister in law who will be sadly missed. Phil and Andrew are in our thoughts and prayers.

  6. Michael Hibbard

    Sorry for your loss. Janet was a great person. JJSWMBO - I loved this saying. Mike

  7. Jenna Cain

    I have a lot of fond memories of Aunty Janet, always full of love and laughter. She will be sadly missed. All my love and thoughts are with Phil and Andrew. X

  8. Stuart Cain

    A lovely lady that will never be forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers are with you both at this sad time.

  9. Nancy Sauer

    May it comfort you to know that she is in the loving embrace of the Lord. During the difficult days ahead your Emmanuel family will be with you. Janet was a lovely and remarkable lady and will be greatly missed. Her beautiful reading of scripture will never be duplicated.

  10. Jill Cain

    We are thinking of both you and Andrew at this very sad time Phil. Love & Condolences xxx

  11. Garnett Johnson

    My sincere sympathy to you in the death of Janet. Will miss her at Kyla and Scott's gatherings, where I enjoyed her company. May God comfort you.

  12. Jackie Anderson

    Janet was such a sweet sweet person! I loved being her Mary Kay girl! She was always so happy and made me feel special! I will miss her!!!

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